Playing with paint

Playing with paint
abstract art

26 March 2014

I Miraculously Survived The Move

Yes, I survived the move, but only just.  I am convinced that my brain died about a week ago though, and my eyes have been getting worse so it has not been all plain sailing.

Many of you will remember how I came to be in Toowoomba and the story of himself's family.   Well I have to say that I would not have managed the move without himself.   He came over and worked his little old heart off alongside me.

I sent him home battered and bruised and limping.  He forgot to bring enough tablets for his arthritus, and so  endured the results of his forgetfulness without a complaint..   I will be forever grateful to him and to my friend Gwen who motivated me to get moving and who bossed (read bullied) me so I got things done and packed up instead of wandering around in a daze.

So now I am in yet another abode, and hope I don't have to move again until I have seriously de-cluttered.  One thing at least I seem to be improving with each move and this unit is lovely although a little more expensive. It is larger than the other in the living areas, and so much light comes in it is wonderful.   Even though I did not know it at the time the owners of the other unit have done me a favour.

I love it and since my move have been sleeping so much better and hopefully the old dead brain will come back to life sometime soon.   Can you believe it was so bad I paid my phone bill TWICE!

Not that my phone provider Telstra deserved it because they did not connect up the internet when they said they would so I have spent the last 6 days fighting with them to get some results. 

Anyway it is all well that ends well so here are some photos of my new unit.
Living and dining area note all the windows

See my lovely kitchen which I wont have to turn on a light in every time I use it.  I can wash dishes looking out to the park  Much better than the dark hole I had before

Of course the sewing room where I managed to fit things because it was smaller with the help of a spare cupboard in the bedroom
I took the photos late in the day so it is hard to see just how much light comes in through all those windows.  I have an ensuite plus a second bathroom again as well.   The main bedroom is where the computer and single bed are and I am using the second bedroom as the main one.  

The courtyard out the back is larger and my plants look so much nicer out there.

My eyes are deteriorating all the time, and it has been horrific trying to  do all my paperwork that is involved with moving residences.   Cant wait for the end of April when hopefully I will have the laser surgery and thus improved sight.

My friend Dianne is due home from their holidays tomorrow I think it will be so good to see her again and have her home.

Now sewing done of course, but that will come.

Thank you everyone for you comments on my last post, and for visiting my blog.  I do appreciate hearing from my old and new  friends.

Until next time.....



14 March 2014

On the Move Again

How Many Times is is possible for one person to pack and unpack boxes of their stuff of  their life and move from place to place.

I dont know the answer to that question, but I am close to finding out.

Last is now Friday....the owner of my unit phoned me to say he and his wife  want their unit back as they are returning to Toowoomba to retire.

At that time I was sitting on a bench outside a shop trying to get over a slight heart turn I had just had in said shop so you can imagine saying I felt like I had been punched in the belly was a great understatement.

The friend I was with drove me home where i spent the rest of the day crying and bemoaning my fate......jinxed?.....yes......feeling like the end of the world had come? definitely a big yes as well.

It was only two weeks before that one of the nicest units in the complex had become vacant whidh was situated right behind me so I went on bemoaning my fate and berating the owners for not contacting me sooner.....  i felt so alone and helpless.

After a totally sleepless night, and many crying phone calls to whoever would listen and commiserate with me, the first thing I did next morning was to ring the real estate agent for the front flat to see on the off chance if it had been let yet.

I could not believe my luck to discover that it had not and the lady who was the agent knew me from doing inspections on my unit when she worked for my agency so was happy to arrange an inspection for me that day..

To say my heart was in my mouth all day until I had my first inspection is another understatement. 

Believe it or not aftger 3 days of tension, and more sleepless nights,  I GOT THE UNIT!!!!!!

I dont for a minute think that the fact that the previous tenants were very unsavourity characters, who were a few times raided by the police, and who had other unsavoury characters turning up at their door to make  "purchases" and them being evicted  had anything to do with the owners jumping at the chance to have a quiet little old lady rent their unit

i Signed the lease yesterday and when I was handed the keys I hastily put them in my pocket so they could not take them back from me.  

Ever the optimist after a night of wandering round the unit totally overwhelmed and wondering why I had so much "stuff" and how I was going to get it packed, or even where to start, a friend came over and with gentle pushing and shoving, we managed to pack up one sewing room which was no mean feat I can tell you. 

Even before I had a definite answer I had organised for the utilities to be transferred, and arranged a removalist........

That night I had a dream and in it I had my little shopping trolley and was gathering what I would need to go and live on the doona, a pillow, changes of clothes.....etc etc....and to cut a long story , I have signed the lease, paid the bond and rent in advance money, and I am half moved in.

I opened our two back gates, and chained them open to give a walkway between the both units which has made it so much easier to transfer my things across.

To my Mr. Himself I owe a huge debt of gratitude, who even though 80 years old  has been a rock and organised me and made sure for the third time that I was moved.  To my friend Gwen, I am deeply grateful, and the saying " a friend in need is a friend indeed" depicts who she is and who I am proud to call my friend.

I am assured that  this will be a long long term rental, but if it turns out to be another case of a landlord pulling the rug from me, then the next move will be to an elderly care facility.   At least there they don't turn your out, they wheel you out so I will never have to pack those damned  boxes ever again.

My internet is being cut off from Monday to Friday next week, so I will be "off the air" until the following weekend.

Sorry their are no photos to go with this....will take them when I am settled.

Till then,.....Adieu


27 February 2014

Work in Progress Views and Memories

During my absence from blogging I finally got round to doing some work on the latest project for the Art Quilting Group.   The theme is "Botanica".  Although if you look that word up in the dictionary it has a different meaning to the group's intentions  of the word to describe the theme.

To start with I went hell for leather on the piece but once the background was done the wheels fell off the trolley and it went into the "wait and see" pile.

Somewhere along the way I recently  some motivation grabbed me,  and although it is still a work in progress, thought I would share what I have done so far.

The unfinished mushroom cap in the front is something I am still pondering on.....whether  to use fabric, or make some needlelace piece to fit the shape.  Am also trying to decide on the colour.  At the moment I am leaning towards blue.

The cap on the mushroom on the left is made from some nice textured velved and for the underneath I have used a piece I had pleated on my smocking machine.  It had been done so long ago, that when I removed the threads the pleats remained.  The stem is a raised stemstitch  band.

The yellow cap I worked on a piece of dublin linen that I had dyed in a mix of tumeric and balsamic vinegar with some rusty nails added to the mix.  The stitches are four sided stitch, buttonhole wheels and buttonhole bars, with some french knots. The stem on this one is just vertical  rows of chain stitch.

I intend adding some grasses at the base of the mushroom stems, and probably whatever else takes my fancy, so this has a little way to go.  

sometimes of an afternoon when I am sitting in my sewing room stitching, this is the view that confronts me.   All these little tots playing and exercising in the park at the back of my unit.  I love the sound of their laughter and to see the fun they are having.
Dont you just love the view from my window

Because I have been in a bit of a reminiscent mood, I am going to finish off with a photo of one of my older pieces of work, which many will have seen.
I spent some happy hours with lovely friends while I was working on this and it has some wonderful memories for me of those times

26 January 2014

Windy Weekend

Woke Saturday morning to nice rain which was not predicted, and there was not sign of it when I looked at the weather site on Friday.   I was checking  for storms, which we have had a couple of lately,  but no sign of them either for our area.   So dont know where the rain came from, and was appreciated by the gardeners.

Still haven't found my incentive to sew but that could be because I have been doing a fair bit of reading. I have just started Angels and Demons by Dan Brown but it is heavy going so far.

When I was at the farm I was able to buy quite a few second hand books for 50c each at the local markets. I just wish I had had a bigger bag with me to buy more at that price.

On Friday it was a bit windy out so I decided to make some of these rum balls. They are a surprise for a friend.  The ingredients are:

1 can of condensed milk
2 cups crushed Marie or Arrowroot biscuits
1 cup coconut
2 Tabsp. cocoa powder
vanilla essence or rum essence
1 cup sultanas
extra coconut for rolling.
Mix all together, roll into balls and in coconut.   Freeze .  Allow to thaw slightly and enjoy.

At the farm the mango tree was loaded so I bought some home with me to ripen and have been freezing the flesh for the off season.   This is just a sample.  I may have to buy another freezer if this keeps up, or just keep eating.   Frozen mango....yum on a hot day.

A week or so ago I was online and found this tv on sale new from one of the big stores.  It is just the right size for my bedroom so I "bit the bullet" and bought it.  Collected it from the store and proceeded to put the stand on, and would not believe go.

The screws that hold  the base and top together just would not screw in they were too tight.   After much exasperation and then  some enquiries I am told that I need a man with a screw drill.....huh! men designs things on purpose in order to keep women out of their sheds.

It is going to be wonderful in winter to lie in my warm comfy bed and watch my favourite programmes.   Although there have been comments that I may never get out of bed again. the way it also has an inbuilt DVD player so I can watch movies if there is nothing good on tv.

I can hardly wait.

14 January 2014

New header

DONT FAINT!  PLEASE!....I know two posts in two days is a miracle from me, but please keep control.

I have had a compliment and enquiry on my new header photo so thought I would do a quick post on how this came about.

A couple of years ago I had the urge to play with something different so gathered together the makings for cards.  I did post about this on my old blog, so it may be familiar to some.

This is one way  I achieved a  design.   First I added rough sketches by dribbling  on the large piece of card with aquadhere and  adding some Gesso to form raised designs
Paper tape was added  to allow for blank areas before I added paint.  i used both thick and thin Atelier brand acrylic artists paint.

Different colours of the paint  was added roughly over the different areas .  If I didn't like the effect I rubbed it off before it dried and added another colour.  Even this gave some pleasing effects.

When I was satisfied I cut the sheet up into smaller sizes for the cards.

Here is a collage of some other designs I made.

I finished off the cards with embellishments and you can see some of them at the top of the post.  It was amazing to see the different effects on the individual pieces after the sheets where cut into the smaller sizes.  It was one of these that I have used for my new Header.  Can you see the shapes of what looks like people on the header picture......that was not intended it was just one of those magic things that happens in some painting.

It was a fun Sunday, and I spent the whole day in my pyjamas "playing".  Will have to do it again one day.

13 January 2014

2014 A New Year Begins

Here is is half way through January of the New Year.   I hope everyone enjoyed their Xmas, and the new year is showing promise.

For all those friends suffering from the extremes of climate, extreme cold, heat, fires and floods, I trust that there will be good changes ahead soon.

Xmas for me was very quiet.  Himself came to visit, and I also had an elderly 89 year old neighbour in for Xmas Lunch.  Because it was hot, I  kept to leg ham and  salads, but forgot to take photos of the dishes.   I made my old family favourite potato salad, as well as a mango salsa to go with the garden salad. 

I was fortunate to receive some lovely gifts and among them was a plum pudding from my friend Dianne.....which was yum.  That is it all wrapped up in xmaswrapping.

Dianne also made me the lovely collage box which is going to be another of her treasures.  In the box was a memory stick in the shape of a reel of thread, and a little journal. Isn't that just too cute.

Instructions on making the box can be found on Annelliese's blog  hop over for a visit she is so talented.  There is also an interesting  tutorial here:  here

Another gift I received and will treasure was from my eldest son and his wife. It is the loveliest calf length dressing gown which will be so nice to wear when I next go to hospital.....I feel like lady muck in it.  The fabric is so soft and fine.
They and of course the puppies, also gave me a gift set and some perfume.

The cream and crystals are to beautify my feet, and came with the softest pair of booties to wear to bed to protect the sheets from the creams.

My DIL is always helping me to care for my skin with gorgeous gifts of lotions and potions.

The perfume is old fashioned lavender which I love combined with green tea. It  will be good to spray on before I go  to bed to help me sleep.

 Himself shouted us a bottle of Baileys Irish Cream to indulge in of an evening.  i can tell you it did not last long it is one of my favourites.....not that I should be drinking anything that rich and creamy.  But I figure the special occasion warranted it.

I must say it did help me to go off to sleep of a night.

 I just adore hand made decorations for my xmas tree, and these two above were made for me by my friend Sue from Suztats,  Thank you Sue, they looked so nice  on the tree.

 Another no no, and another love of mine  is chocolate, and I must admit to being naughty and  eating a couple of these which were a gift for himself and I from an old neighbour at the farm.

Its ok I am back to my normal diet and made sure all the chockies were left in the fridge at the farm so I couldn't get to them.

On Boxing Day I went back to the "farm" with himself.  It was so relaxing over there, all I did was rest and sleep after a year of worry and stress.   I have come back all refreshed and ready for a happier  year.  Well one can always live in  hope eh. So long as my family allow me to that is.
No sewing was done, even though I did pack some, but the weather turned so hot with up to 40deg C days it was easier to just get into the recliner under the aircon and nana nap.
However, I did have a day with an old neighbour who I taught to embroider when I lived there.  We had a marvellous day catching up, and going through her sewing boxes. 

Jann has had a gruelling year, with serious operations, but as you can see she never stops smiling.  She is such fun to be with and her husband is a gem.

Should I be now at the stage of making a New Year resolution to do more sewing.....At the moment mine is to finish the fabric book......

Bye for now, till next time.........Happy New Year to All.

18 December 2013

Another Year Almost Over

Merry Christmas to all my followers who have become my friends.  I hope you all have a lovely day and enjoy the company of family and friends on Dec 25.

 Is it because I am getting older that the years are going faster.....or has the world gained speed all over. This year just seems to sped by.  I have barely had time to tidy up from xmas last year and here it is time to put up the tree again.

Even though I have not been here much this year, there has been some stitching.
happening. i finally finished my butterfly cushion front.    I removed all my terrible attempt at long and short stitch on the flowers and just replaced them with outlines.
Now all I have to do is make up the cushion itself and find an owner for it.

Because I am so hopeless at long and short stitch I decided to have another look at Mary Corbetts Tutorial.  That and with the help of instructions from the above  book showing a clear picture of the stitch I was able to complete this attempt.
What I achieved is shown on the top left above  worked  in wool thread, and I think if I keep practising I might get the hang of it. The other two  pictures are also part of  the  band sampler I have started.  Yes I am definitely one of those people who  starts something new before finishing the previous projects.

There has also been more finishing off of pages for the fabric book as well.
buttonhole stitches

Workshop sampler

Fly stitch sampler I did when I first started embroidery
Lily  sumptuous stitches workshop top is a sampler of Mountmellic work. The tatting flower was a gift from my friend Suztats
 Which now brings me to my shopping spree....well only a tiny spree, but guess what I bought... another book!....yes another one.   But this one I have yearned for for so long so when I saw it, I could not resist so dragged out the credit card and took a big breath and bought it online
 It was wonderful recently to see my Day Lillies flowering.  They are such a bright happy colour and are growing just outside my window.

see you in 2014